As they desperately seek to enlarge their voting base, one group that Democrats are diligently working to cultivate are convicted felons–both those who have been released after serving their sentence and even those still sitting in jail.
The most recent example of Democrats cultivating felon voters cropped up earlier this year in the Commonwealth of Virginia where Democrat Governor and major Clinton operative Terry McAuliffe tried to pass off an executive order as state law in order to give felons in Virginia the right to vote.
In April, McAuliffe signed a sweeping executive order granting up to 206,000 convicted felons in Virginia the vote. It was a startling move that even the Richmond Examiner called “unprecedented.”
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Saying the standards that disenfranchised felons is a “barrier” that “must be broken down,” the governor’s illicit order gave the vote to both non-violent and violent felons. Not only did he intend to give the vote to the common drug user caught with felon amounts of drugs, but McAuliffe decided that rapists and murderers should also have a say in the state’s elections.
McAuliffe is a long-time Democrat operative. Before becoming governor in 2014, McAuliffe was the Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman for her 2008 run for president and before that was the head of the Democrat National Committee during the George W. Bush years. McAuliffe was famous for his broken moral compass and his ability to raise vast sums of money for the Democrat cause.
As soon as McAuliffe issued his executive order the state legislature promised to block him and the Republican-controlled body filed suit to stop his act. By August the Virginia Supreme Court struck down the Governor’s order to restore the vote to felons who gave up the right to vote upon being convicted of their crime.
But, like most Democrats, McAuliffe proved that he wasn’t going to allow state lawmakers nor the courts prevent him from doing what ever he wanted to do. After the court handed down its ruling, McAuliffe insisted that his office individually cleared 13,000 felons to vote in the upcoming 2016 election.
Despite that the court ruled his original order to be illegal, McAuliffe set up a new policy to fast track felons back into the voting pool.
He then even taunted Republicans saying they should “Quit complaining” and go out and earn the vote of these criminals.
Virginia isn’t alone with its recent effort to sign felons up to vote.
Apparently the left coast state of California was caught off guard by McAuliffe’s abrasive and brazen move to engorge the Democrat voter rolls in Virginia. While the far left Golden State is usually the first to enact crazy, far left laws–they recently, for instance, passed a law to stop cows from farting to keep them from causing global warming–the California state legislature had not taken action to give felons the right to vote. Not to be outdone by Virginia, California jumped into action.
Despite the near universal opposition from the state’s law enforcement community, Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed a bill that gives California convicts the right to vote.
But true to its penchant to up the ante, California’s absurd law gave the vote to felons who are even still in jail.
And what was the reasoning behind the new law? Why, criminals would give up their evil ways, the bill’s sponsor claimed, if they are allowed to vote. How did Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) imagine that would come about?
“Civic participation can be a critical component of re-entry and has been linked to reduced recidivism,” she insisted.
That’s right. California Democrats seriously posited that criminals would suddenly become law abiding citizens because they would be “rejoining society” if they could vote.
Of course, this isn’t a new idea. Liberals have been working diligently to give the vote to felons for decades. And they’ve succeeding in many states already. Previous to McAuliffe’s efforts, many states either have no restrictions at all on felons voting or have varying degrees of re-enfranchisement.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in both Maine and Vermont convicts never lose their right to vote no matter how egregious their crime. In fourteen more states criminals are only disenfranchised while they are incarcerated and get their right to vote returned to them as soon as they leave prison. in 29 more states felons are allowed to vote again as soon as their sentence (including parole or probation) is up or after a mandated period of time after they are released. Only nine state disenfranchise felons forever unless an act by the state’s governor reverses that status on an individual basis.
It is an uneven situation for felons across the nation, to be sure. But it is one the Obama administration has been working to eliminate since he became president.
In 2014, for instance, then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder insisted that all states should eliminate their own laws and give felons the right to vote like Vermont and Maine.
“It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision,” Holder said as he addressed students at Georgetown University. “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”
Several Democrat-controlled activist groups have also been working to over turn state laws and restore voting rights to violent criminals, as well. And recently one such organization filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama to force the state to jettison its rules for felons.
“Citizens with past felony convictions work and pay taxes and should have a say in deciding their community’s and the nation’s laws that directly impact their lives,” Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, said in September as his group filed the lawsuit.
But it isn’t surprising that Democrats are pushing for states to enfranchise violent, career criminals. After all when felons are allowed to vote, they vote Democrat.
A recent survey of prison voters discovered that 7 in 10 felons register as Democrats when given the right to vote.
Because of this, “Democrats would benefit from additional ex-felon participation,” said a study published in 2014 in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Still, it shouldn’t be surprising that Democrats want to enable violent felons, rapists, thieves and career criminals to vote. After all, birds of a feather flock together.